On Monday, President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion dollar Infrastructure and Jobs Act, a move that comes after months of intra-party debate and negotiating.
CNBC reported, “The bill will inject $550 billion of new funds into transportation, broadband and utilities over the next five years. It also represents one half of Biden’s domestic agenda, and opens the gate to passage of the second half, a $1.75 trillion social spending and climate change bill.”
Though predominantly a Democrat-supported measure, several Republicans attended the signing, including Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
Biden has called the law a historic measure and has regularly claimed it will help the middle class. The president has also said the infrastructure bill will form millions of jobs, even as a high number of Americans continue to quit their jobs.
“Most of all it does something truly historic,” Biden said at the signing ceremony. “I ran for President believing it was time to rebuild the backbone of this nation which I characterize as working people in the middle class. They are the ones who built the country. And to rebuild the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, this law delivers on that long overdue promise in my view. It creates better jobs for millions of Americans.”
Vice President Kamala Harris likened the signing of the bill to the authorization of the transcontinental railroad, the Hoover Dam, and the Eisenhower interstate system.
“In the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln started construction on the Transcontinental Railroad. In the middle of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt finished construction on the Hoover Dam,” she said.
She continued, “President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act in the middle of the Cold War. And today — and today, President Joe Biden will sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law.”
Championed by Biden as a bipartisan bill, 19 Republican senators voted for the bill and 13 Republican Representatives voted for the bill in the House.
“The bill I’m about to sign into law is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results. We can do this. We can deliver real results for real people,” Biden said at the signing at the White House.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who did not vote for the bill, criticized House Republicans who voted for the measure.
“And I will tell you, in the House, for the House Republicans who voted for this, Joe Biden and the Democrats, their agenda was on the rails. It was failing. It was on the way to going down,” Cruz said on Sunday. “And what those Republicans did is they breathed life into it; they gave Joe Biden a political win. He’ll now go across the country touting, look at this big bipartisan win.”